MSW Curriculum

The MSW@Denver social work curriculum is designed to build your skills and knowledge as you develop your practice. Our dedicated faculty will prepare you to advocate for individuals, families and communities across a range of settings, from correctional facilities and hospitals to public and private agencies.

We encourage our students to explore the versatility of career paths available to social workers. Our students find careers as direct practitioners, community health social workers, community and economic developers, health and wellness counselors, planners and evaluators, policy analysts and more. 

As a student in the program you will be encouraged to follow your interests and passions, challenge your classmates and ask tough questions. In turn, we are confident your comprehensive, holistic understanding of social work principles will position you to reshape our world after graduation.

Request information to learn more about the MSW curriculum.

Two Social Work Curriculum Tracks Grounded in Social Justice

MSW@Denver offers two online program tracks: the traditional MSW and the advanced standing MSW. The University of Denver uses a quarter system which includes four quarters: fall, winter, spring and summer. View the admission requirements.

View the admission requirements.

Traditional MSW

As an online traditional MSW student, you will: 

  • Complete the 90-credit program in as few as 21 months (7 quarters), or as many as 48 months (16 quarters).
  • Complete the foundation curriculum, the concentration curriculum, and two field internships near your community.

View the traditional MSW sample course schedules.

Advanced Standing MSW 

As an online advanced standing MSW student, you will: 

  • Complete the 60-credit program in as few as 18 months (6 quarters), or as many as 24 months (8 quarters).
  • Complete two foundation curriculum courses, the concentration curriculum, and a field internship near your community.

View the advanced standing sample course schedule.

Social Work Curriculum Components

The master’s in social work curriculum includes foundation and concentration coursework.


Foundation Curriculum

You will spend the first four quarters of your program developing an understanding of the history, values and ethics of the social work profession. You will explore topics such as human development and behavior, the impact of oppression on individuals and groups, interventions with client systems, and how to apply research to programs and practice.  

Request information to learn more about the MSW curriculum.


Concentration Curriculum

As an online traditional MSW student or advanced standing MSW student, you will complete the concentration curriculum for your chosen concentration: Mental Health and Trauma or Health and Wellness.

Mental Health and Trauma prepares you to focus your practice on comprehensive assessment, advanced interventions based on cognitive approaches and trauma-informed care.

Health and Wellness prepares you to focus your practice on the mind-body connection and integrative approaches to health care.

Whether you hope to work in direct practice with clients or in another setting, such as in the judicial system or a hospital, your concentration coursework will help you make a positive difference to individuals, families and communities.

Please note: If you are an advanced standing MSW student, you will begin the program with the advanced standing seminar and two foundation courses listed below, which will prepare you for success in the program:


Field Internships

Field internships are the highlight of the social work curriculum. You get to practice applying theory and classroom skills within your community. Throughout your internship, you will be supervised by an experienced social worker who will offer feedback and mentorship as you hone your personal practice.

Learn more about field education.


Our Philosophy

Our MSW curriculum is designed to prepare the next generation of social workers with the skills you need to help individuals, families and communities combat injustice and oppression. There is no limit to the change you can create as a social worker, so we strive to empower you toward culturally responsive, critical practice—no matter the setting. That means we embrace the full scope of social work’s role in society.


Online Learning at the Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW)

As an MSW@Denver student, you are supported and connected through our online campus. In this virtual hub, you will participate in weekly live class sessions with professors and classmates, up to four hours per week. You have the ability to choose the live class time that works best with your schedule. You will also access the online campus to complete self-paced coursework and connect with your network of classmates and professors. Regardless of distance, you will be a member of our engaged and driven community from enrollment to graduation and beyond.

Learn more about the online campus.

Request information to learn more about MSW@Denver or contact Admission at 855-219-5995.